Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, up for re-election in 2010, just announced her fundraising totals for the second quarter of this year, and I think the words you were looking for were “Holy Cow.” Message from campaign manager Steve Patterson is as follows:
During the quarter, the campaign raised $1,270,667. Individuals accounted for 56 percent of total contributions for the quarter. The campaign reported cash on hand as of 6/30/2009 at $3,201,745. Since the beginning of the election cycle, January 1, 2009, Senator Lincoln’s campaign has raised $2,993,149.
To put this into context, once again: The last big money statewide race in Arkansas was between Democrat Mike Beebe and Republican Asa Hutchinson (I worked for Asa). That race cost about $10 million, at the time the most expensive in Arkansas history. Beebe raised a little over $6 million for the whole race. Lincoln right now has raised half of what Beebe raised in that entire cycle—and this is the off-year, with 16 months to go.
(And again, for our out of state readers: Lincoln’s fundraising totals probably won’t make your eyes pop if you’re accustomed to the financial demands of campaigning in larger states with lots of expensive media markets—but they’re big numbers for Arkansas, especially this early in the race.)
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration are trying to put some heat on Lincoln to keep her on the reservation for health care legislation. The Tolbert Report and the K. Ryan James blog have more on that front, with video.